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Bengal: Summer holidays in schools extended for Lok Sabha elections

April 1, 2024
Mita Mukherjee

The West Bengal state secondary education board on Monday extended the summer vacation in schools for 12 more days for conducting the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

The schools will remain closed from May 6 to June 2 this year, according to a notification issued by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education today.

The board had earlier announced that summer vacation would continue till May 20. The schools as per the original announcement would have remained closed for summer holidays for 10 days this year that is from May 9 to May 20.  

“ In view of the Parliamentary General Elections 2024, to be conducted in the state of West Bengal in 7 phases and considering that most of the schools also act as polling stations for the said elections, it is hereby notified that the schools under WBBSE, shall remain closed between…. Summer holidays stand revised from 6th May 2024 (Monday) to 2nd June 2024, (Sunday) (22 days excluding holidays and Sundays)….”

The seven-phase Lok Sabha polls will start in Bengal on April 19.

According to the notification schools in Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri will remain closed between April 16 and April 20 for conducting the first phase elections.

For holding the second phase elections schools in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Uttar and Dakshin Dinajpur will remain shut between April 24 and April 27. The remaining five phases will be held during the summer holidays.          

“ Many teachers and  non-teaching staff will be engaged in polling duties. Many of them will have to go to places far from their home to conduct the polls. We have decided to extend the summer holidays considering the interest of the teaching and non-teaching employees and to ensure that the elections are held smoothly,” a senior official of the board said.

 Many teachers and guardians are unhappy with the extended summer vacation saying that their wards would lose precious time for the prolonged holidays. The normal practice is to have 10 to 14 days of summer holidays. According to the guardians, the schools should make necessary arrangements after reopening of the schools to compensate for the loss of classes.

“ We understand that the school premises are required by the election department for conducting the polls. But the government should also consider alternative arrangements for students so that they can make up the loss,” said Swapna Parida, mother of a student of Class V of a state-aided school in central Kolkata.

 Schools in Bengal had remained closed for more days for summer vacation even in 2022 and 2023 because of a heat spell prevailing in the state at that time.

Also read: CUET-UG schedule unaffected by Lok Sabha elections: UGC Chief

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